Carrot Clothing

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Imagine growing up in a war-torn communist country (or three depending on the ‘where’ and ‘when’). All you’ve ever known is political oppression — it is your daily life. So you make some t-shirts for you and your friends, the point being to laugh at the situation you’re faced with, to bring some light into your life by making a statement and say something without outright saying it. Except you get labelled a terrorist and suddenly your only outlet for self-expression lands you in jail. Sound like a movie pitch? Think again, this is Alexander Gligorich’s life. Born and raised in Serbia, Alex started printing shirts as an outlet for dealing with the repressive nature of a tumultuous government, instead it became bait for that same government. Here Alex talks about his time the jail, the brand and the growth of a carrot.

Carrot Clothing is what I live everyday; it is a need to express myself and at same time offer something different and fresh to the street wear audience.

Format: Carrot Clothing’s inception is strongly rooted in social justice, is that something that you try to maintain?
Alexander Gligorich: Carrot Clothing is what I live every day; it is the need to express myself and at the same time offer something different to the street wear audience. Yes, sometimes I criticise society but that’s what social justice is about, it’s people expressing their need for a better life.

Format: Did the time you spent incarcerated influence the brand? If yes, in what ways?
Alexander Gligorich: Going to prison is not a big deal over here [Serbia]; I know a lot of people who’ve landed up in jail or were beat up by the cops just because they expressed an opinion. Printing t-shirts was my way to do it. Messages like ‘Fuck War’ and ‘All Together Now’ were enough for the authorities to arrest me; every individual that didn’t support them was marked as being terrorist. But don’t get me wrong – all politics, everywhere in the world – is nothing but a ‘carrot and stick’, hence the name Carrot Clothing.

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Format: Tell us more about the people behind the label, the brand and how everything got started?
Alexander Gligorich: Generally a lot of creative people are involved in Carrot. After my personal battle was over I continued to make clothing. I came up with increasingly better ideas and then one night, while I was out, I realized that I could see twenty men in the same club wearing a Carrot piece. So I called up my brother, who is a photographer, he took some photos and that was that. Carrot was born!

Format: You feature interviews with photographers, designers, etc on the your official web site, is this something new?
Alexander Gligorich: Yes, it’s new. I insisted on that because there are many people wearing Carrot but they don’t know who designs the clothes they’re wearing. It’s my way of giving props to all the artists we work with.

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Format: Is there any specific philosophy the company adheres to and does it come through in each collection?
Alexander Gligorich: It’s hard to say exactly what our mission statement is. Carrot Clothing is what I live everyday; it is a need to express myself and at same time offer something different and fresh to the street wear audience. When I start thinking of a new collection, I never have a concrete concept and plan – it’s about what inspires me in that moment.

Format: On your site you talk about how Carrot Clothing is ‘a brand whose very essence is based upon the family-like relationships between global art, skate, and street communities.’ How do you incorporate these relationships into the company on a day-to-day basis?
Alexander Gligorich: As my friend Steve ‘ESPO’ Powers said: “the relationship between street art and street fashion is as close as skateboard wheels are to concrete.”

Format: What’s your favorite piece from the Summer 2009 Collection?
Alexander Gligorich: It’s got to be the ‘Malcolm X’ t-shirt and ‘Fire Alley,’ which is a collaboration with Tod Seelie.

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Format: What do you hope Carrot Clothing will bring to the people back home in Serbia? Beyond financial gain, self-empowerment must be a motivating factor.
Carrot is the only Balkan street wear brand and one of the biggest in Europe. Right now my homies don’t need to travel around the world to find a cool piece of clothing; because they have it all here, at home!

Format: Where do you see Carrot Clothing within the next five to ten years? How do you plan to stay separate from the herd?
Alexander Gligorich: I see Carrot Clothing as a Top 5 brand. Not necessarily through sales but in terms of originality. I don’t have strict plans about where I want this to go but I can promise that whatever road we do follow, we will not make any compromises.

More Info: www.carrotclothing.net

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Bruna Simoes

Bruna Simoes

Bruna Simoes

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One comment

  1. Ripped off artist says:

    I am one of many many people who were scammed by carrot clothing! Alex Gligorich got me to create a T-Shirt design and as soon as I sent it to him he stopped communicating with me. No Payment! These people go on about how much they value social justice but then trample on the little man to get ahead. Just search “carrot clothing scam” and read more. DO NOT SUPPORT CARROT CLOTHING!

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